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Circuit Riders: Legal Research Training for Non-Lawyers

Legal Search Engines & Research Guides


Resources are also available in print and online that familiarize beginning legal researchers with the U.S. and state legal systems, legal resources, and the legal research process. A Guide to South Carolina Legal Research and Citation, 3rd ed. (2014) by Paula G. Benson should be included in every South Carolina library.


Legal Research websites provide research guides on particular topics and tutorials on conducting legal research. Excellent online how-to resources are also available for beginning legal researchers, such as the American Association of Law Libraries’ How to Research a Legal Problem: A Guide for Non-Lawyers and the Coleman Karesh Law Library's Guide to Free Internet Legal Resources and Guide to SC Legal Resources.

Finding tools include government websites for locating government information, legal search engines, directories, and research guides. USA.gov and SC.gov are great websites for locating information on federal and South Carolina state government, respectively.

 

In addition, catalogs, such as the Library of Congress Online Catalog and WorldCat, allow researchers to identify available materials on legal topics.

Resources for keeping abreast of developments in the law and new resources for legal research include legal newsletters and newspapers in print and online, legal research websites, blawgs, and RSS feeds. The ABA maintains a Blawg Directory by topic, author, region, and law school. The website Justia.com contains an open access database of legal materials on a number of topics and from a wide range of jurisdictions.